We've compiled a list of steps churches can take to equip men and women in their congregations to take their faith to work. Some you can begin this week. Others will take a lot of work. Take a few minutes and consider what you can begin this week. Then dream about what you would love to see happen at your church.
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Five Easy Steps Every Pastor Can Take
- Pray for the workplace. Encourage men and women to submit prayer requests to the church’s prayer ministry and set aside time each week to pray for their workplace concerns. Mention the workplace in pastoral prayers.
- Watch your language. Don’t imply that work is the enemy of a person’s spiritual life. It’s not. Don’t imply that some work is more important to God than other work by speaking of church ministry as a “higher” calling. Also, don’t refer to it as “full-time” ministry since everyone is equally called to the full-time service of God—some inside the church, some outside. Don’t assume that every business person is motivated by greed and power. They’re not.
- Spend time every week visiting people in their place of work. Meet them at their jobsite or office. Surprise them by picking up the tab for coffee or a meal.
- Mention work applications in sermons. Use a video clip about faith and work. Remind people what it means to follow Jesus in this dominant part of their lives.
- Make new heroes. Show how people in your congregation take their faith to work and what happens. Tell a story of how someone experienced God’s presence in the workplace last week. Use a sermon example in which someone served God by doing his or her job well.
Possible Next Steps
- Interview someone about his or her work during the worship service. Ask, “What do you do? What challenges and opportunities do you have? How can our church support you?” Then pray for them.
- Preach about work occasionally. There is more about work in the Bible than worship.
- Identify where every church member works and what they do. Show where your church is Monday through Saturday in their places of work.
- Identify people's workplace/business skills and ask them to use them at church.
- Create a feedback loop for sermons. Ask, "How does this apply to your work?"
When You’re Really Serious
- Commission people for their jobs at work, school, and home as workplace missionaries. For example, have a specific time of prayer for the educators in your church the Sunday before school starts.
- Begin a small-group study in the workplace.
- Launch an on-going workplace ministry that equips your congregation for life and ministry in the workplace.
- Investigate how you might engage business leaders in a business-as-missions venture. Begin in a mission field your church already supports.
- Teach a biblical theology of work to your young people so they don't have to relearn God’s view of work later in life.